I make my own charcoal for forging. This is very small scale, since I use broken furniture which I am given. Since it is possible to do SOME forging using firewood only, in the winter I am keeping warm AND forging AND making charcoal, by raking out the glowing embers between heats, and sealing them in a steel box. But I am also busy with drilling, sawing, chopping, buffing WHILE thatís going. I am not standing there waiting for the iron to turn red.
When I have a chest full of charcoal, I sieve it. The briquettes are made from the fragments which remain, plus sawdust, pine needles, paper pulp, mixed with jam specially boiled up from damsons picked a fortnight ago.
The briquettes are still a bit damp, but they resemble peat. They will burn.
This is the formwork I made for the experiment. From old furniture. The ribs are tapered and were smeared with molten wax.